The Art Deco Trust was formed in February 1985 to promote the newly published ‘Take a Walk Through Art Deco Napier’ leaflet.
In June 1985, the Trust organised the premiere of Peter Wells' television film ‘Newest City On The Globe’. A crowd of 1,100 people turned out to walk the streets of Napier and view its buildings, before viewing the film in a 340-seat theatre. The public's enthusiasm encouraged those involved to continue working for the preservation, enhancement and promotion of Napier's unique post-earthquake architecture.
The Trust was legally incorporated in 1987, becoming a full-time operation in 1992 with a salaried staff member and its own premises and shop at what was once the Napier's Central Fire Station in Tennyson Street, Napier. Today the Trust occupies a hugely increased space at the renamed Art Deco Centre with full-time and part time staff assisted by over 120 dedicated volunteers.
The Trust today
The Art Deco Trust plays many roles that include providing Art Deco leadership, networking and coordination within the Hawke’s Bay Region; undertaking preservation and advocacy activities along with research and promotion, and providing information and education.
The Trust drives Napier’s preservation movement and its volunteer guides interpret this famous city centre for visitors from all over the world. All the guides relate the unique story of Napier, its destruction and rebirth, providing educational entertainment on an enthusiastic and personal level. Choose from walking or vintage car tours, as well as private charters, airport transfers and winery tours.
In addition, the Art Deco Trust organises two major annual Art Deco festivals on the calendar – the Napier Art Deco Festival in February and Winter Deco Weekend in July – which celebrate the ‘gift’ of Art Deco architecture with a range of events for locals and visitors alike.